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Facebook today announced a new feature that could have tremendous impact on dealers. Its called "Nearby" and its on the iOS and Android Apps.
The feature is a discovery engine, allowing people to discover business around them that resonate with their social graph. Imagine users looking for an oil change and viewing service stations nearby. Will you be listed? Will you be at the top of the list? Will you have good reviews? It marks a big step into a new market for Facebook that could have profound impact on dealers.
Whats new with "Nearby"?
People have long been able to check in to places with their Facebook app, accumulating an average of 250 million users per month checking in to places. Now, not only will people be able to check in with their Facebook account, but they can rate the business or choose to like the business’s Facebook page as well. This will power a list of recommendations from your friends when you’re out looking for places to eat, a favorite retail spot, or even a local gas station.
We know this is sending Foursquare and Yelp for a loop, but it has potential to really help, or hurt your dealership, too. What should dealers so?
Get a page!
Now, more than ever, it’s time for your dealership to get and manage a Facebook page. Yes, it’s true – there are still dealerships that don’t have one. If you do have one, is it optimized for mobile users to find you? The fact is, Facebook is no longer just a social place to interact with potential customers – it’s a phonebook. If you’re not on it, you’re not being found.
And for those of you keeping up and already have a business page, it’s even more important to optimize it. Fill out all your company information (for starters), update your images, and get to interacting
Think of all the reasons people might come to your dealership. For a new car, of course, but what about after getting into an accident and they need to find a collision center? Or, perhaps they just need an oil change. Be certain you’re listed in the right categories, making sure your being found in all the right places.
Ask for a review!
This is where it really counts. Just like you ask for reviews on Google, be sure to encourage your customers to check in and leave a review. This is where the magic really happens, as the Facebook algorithm takes people’s recommendations into consideration when friends are looking for a spot. You want to be sure you show up on top.
Bottom line – get to optimizing your Facebook page and ask your customers for reviews. This brings a whole new meaning to SoLoMo (Social Local Mobile).
How do you see this impacting the industry? Do you think the feature will attract wide spread traction or will this be a bust?